Journalists, bloggers, and even consumers often turn to news search to seek information on the Web. As aggregators of information that rely on algorithms to sort search results, news-focused search engines such as Yahoo News and Google News offer opportunities for optimization just like any other search engine.
Press releases make up a substantial portion of the content found on news search engines. High rankings can drive traffic and attract media attention. As part of an effective SEO and online public relations program, your company should be using these techniques for press release optimization:
For a 400-500 word press release, focus on approximately 2-3 keyword phrases that are most relevant to the topic. It is acceptable to use related phrases as well. For placement, think upward and to the left, such as at the beginning of a sentence or paragraph, and within headings and sub-headings.
2) Headlines for People
While the beginning of a press release headline or title is the optimal location for placing keywords that you want to rank for, focus on writing headlines for the target audience, not search engines. If the press release ranks high but doesn’t make sense or include a clear, compelling message, then it will be ineffective.
3) Text Links
Many press release distribution services and newswires allow anchor text links within the press release. Anchor text is the blue underlined text that links to another web page when you click. Search engines infer the keyword importance of the web page being linked to from the anchor text. For example, if the words “online marketing” link to Online Marketing Blog, it tells people and search engines that the destination of the link is about “online maketing.” This use of keywords within link is instrumental towards search engine rankings.
4) Landing Pages
Another way to drive traffic to your website is to include a link within the press release that directs readers (consumers or journalists, depending on the purpose of the release) to a specific landing page.
A landing page also enables you to track the response rate to the press release and provide a call-to-action. Landing pages typically provide further information on the topic of the press release and close with an offer of fulfillment.
For example, fill in the form below to receive a free white paper or case study. Capturing prospect contact details in this way augments your prospect database that can be used for direct email marketing campaigns.
5) RSS Feeds
Many members of the media are relying less on direct pitches for story ideas. The majority of Internet savvy journalists turn to the Web for their information. The introduction of RSS feeds has made it very easy for journalists to find the data they need with a click of the mouse. As more and more journalists subscribe to RSS feeds, it is important for PR professionals to submit press releases to RSS feeds so that their company’s or client’s news does not fall through the net.